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Musée de l'Hospice Comtesse

The Hospice Comtesse is located in the historic heart of Lille. Founded in 1237 by Countess Jeanne of Flanders, the former Notre-Dame hospital welcomed the sick and pilgrims. The institution was created when a large number of hospital asylums were founded during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Today, these walls now house the city’s art and history museum.

After the French Revolution, the buildings of the Hospice Comtesse were used to house orphans such as “Les Bleuets” and elderly invalid, “Les Vieux-Hommes.” It was in 1940 that the hospital and assistance vocation of the Hospice Comtesse came to an end. By 1923, the buildings of the Hospice Comtesse were classified as Historic Monuments, and a museum of regional history and ethnography was created in the 1950s by the municipality. Musée de l'Hospice de la Comtesse

The city of Lille was once home to important trade corporations, and several museum objects pay tribute to this merchant history, such as traditional banners and the painting La Procession de Lille by François Watteau. The works of Watteau, as well as his father, Louis Watteau, are precious testimonies of the city and of the life in Lille under the Ancien Régime.Musée de l'Hospice Comtesse

The museum also houses a wide variety of art in addition to their beautiful, well known paintings. Textiles, such as religious clothing can be found in the museum as well as old musical instruments, for example the violin, guitar and mandolin.

The ceramic collection covers a period from the thirteenth to the twentieth century. The oldest pieces come from archaeological digs in the region. The collection is made up of glazed earthenware pieces, utilitarian and decorative, beautiful earthenware from different production centers, religious-themed ceramics and earthenware tiles from houses in Old Lille. Delftware forms a small part of this collection. One example is a plaque from 1748 and a cuspidor from the eighteenth century.

Musée de l'Hospice Comtesse

The Toledo Museum of Art is located in the Old West End neighborhood of Toledo, Ohio. Edward Drummond Libbey, a Toledo glassmaker, founded the museum in 1901. Over the years the museum expanded by adding multiple buildings to house its large collection of glass, nineteenth and twentieth century European and American art, as well as Renaissance, Greek, Roman and Japanese art.  

Toledo is well-known as the Glass Capital of the United States. Edward Drummond Libbey wanted to improve the education of local craftsmen and designers by assembling a model glass collection. Not only did he assemble a great collection, he promoted training and exhibited new works. Libbey also supported European glass, and purchased 53 European Renaissance and Baroque glasses for his collection. Through his patronage, the Toledo Museum of Art became one of the most important museums for glassware.

While the collection of glassware was prominent during its early years, the museum also acquired many important pieces of Dutch art, such as works by Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt and Willem de Kooning. Delftware is another highlight of the collection, with both blue and white and polychrome wares from the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The majority comprises dishes and garnitures, however one series of plates stands out: a series of twelve plates with scenes of a whaling expedition. 

Whale “fishing” took place from April to August in the Greenland seas. During the seventeenth century, whaling progressed from bay and coastal waters to the open sea, and finally to the arctic waters where the whales would swim along the ice floes in search of plankton. The Greenland ice fishery required stronger-hulled ships, the so-called ‘Groendlandvaarders,’ whereas in the Davis Strait lighter ships could hunt. All of the whaling ships were characterized by a large horizontal beam across the width of the stern from which the harpoon boats were lowered for the harpooners to hunt and kill the whale.

While the catch from coastal or bay whaling could be processed promptly in cookeries on land in settlements such as Smeerenburg [‘Blubber Town’], near Spitsbergen, for whaling on the open seas, time, geography and distances were such that the whales had to be slaughtered alongside the ship. The meat and blubber were barreled aboard the ships, and after the return of the fleet to the Dutch harbor, they were reduced to oil.



The Groninger Museum is a modern and contemporary art museum located in Groningen, the Netherlands. Founded in 1847 by Hendrikus Octavius Feith, the museum was originally called Museum van Germaanse Oudheden (Museum of Germanic Antiquities). From the start, the museum was affiliated with the University of Groninger. In fact, several other museums were connected to the university, including The Museum van Natuurlijke Historie (Museum of Natural History) and the collection for Mineralogy, Geology, Zoology and Zootomy.

During the twentieth century the museum expanded its collection with porcelain exported by the Dutch East India Company. The porcelain collection totals around nine thousand objects, making it a significant area of focus for the museum. The museum also owns a wide variety of Delftware including plaques, plates, garnitures and much more.

One highlight of the collection is a coffeepot with cover in blue and white with chinoiserie figures and floral decorations. The coffeepot is marked LVE for Lambertus van Eenhoorn, the owner of de Metaale Pot (The Metal Pot) factory. De Metaale Pot factory continually innovated their eclectic production of earthenware to create complex shapes and decorations. At the time of Lambertus van Eenhoorn’s ownership, the craze for blue and white Wanli (1572-1620) and Kangxi (1662-1722) period porcelain was at its height. Numerous pieces designed by De Metaale Pot factory under Lambertus’ ownership drew inspiration directly from the blue and white Chinese porcelain. The decorations on these wares often consisted of varied floral and landscape motifs, and occasionally included figural subjects.



Princeton University is one of the oldest collecting institutions in the United States. The origins of the collection date nearly to the University’s foundation in the eighteenth century. The collection initially began with a painting gifted from University patron, New Jersey Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher. Other paintings and works of art followed but were destroyed due to battles in 1777 and a fire in 1802. These initial efforts set the tone for the institution’s collecting over the next century and suggest an early commitment to teaching from original objects and using them as tools for accessing and understanding the wider world. Museum, teaching, and library operated as three interwoven strands. 

In addition to paintings, the museum also acquired objects such as a large selection of Cypriot pottery from the Metropolitan Museum’s collection in 1890; Etruscan, Roman, and South Italian pottery; and objects from later periods. Later in the twentieth century other major gifts came to the museum, such as a collection of more than forty Italian paintings, a collection of more than five hundred snuff bottles, and also sculpture and photography. 

Today the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the nation’s foremost art museums. The collections have greatly exceeded those of a study collection. Numbering more than 112,000 objects, the collections range chronologically from ancient to contemporary art and concentrate geographically on the Mediterranean regions, Western Europe, Asia, the United States, Latin America, and Africa.

The museum also houses Delftware, especially dishes and chargers. An interesting dish is a crespina, probably made in Haarlem around 1650. This type of decoration has traditionally been called ‘Grotesques à la Patanazzi’, referring to similar maiolica dishes made in Urbino circa 1515 by the Patanazzi family of potters. Similar crespinas with the cherub or putto figure at various pursuits within the same or similar decoration on the molded rim have been attributed to the workshop of Willem Jansz. Verstraeten. 


The Stedelijk Museum is located in the town of Vianen, near the Dutch city of Utrecht. The museum forms the cultural heart of the town with historical and contemporary exhibitions. The museum is in a building on the Voorstraat 97, which was built in the sixteenth century. Between about 1650 and 1807, the top floor was used as a clandestine Roman Catholic church. This hidden church is still well preserved with wooden marbled Tuscan columns supporting the canopy, which contains seventeenth century paintings of garlands with rosettes, festoons and a dove. Also visible are paintings in the ovals, including a monogram of Mary, a halo with the letters IHS (abbreviation of Jesus) and IOS (abbreviation of John).

In 1652 the property was in the possession of the Jesuit Father Adriaan Bouvaeus. The priest enjoyed great freedom through his friendship with the lord of Batestein Johan Wolfert van Brederode, whose family was tolerant of the Roman Catholic clergy for years. The church celebrated mass every Sunday for about 100 parishioners, a tradition that continued for over 150 years, first by Jesuits, and then by secular clergy after their exile in 1730. In 1807 the clandestine church was abolished when the Roman Catholic church board bought the building Voorstraat 45. They sold the old church to Goswinus Cremer, pastor of the Reformed congregation, who resold it a few months later. The building was modified a number of times in the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For example, the facade plastering dates from the nineteenth century. After a major restoration in 1992, it became the home of the Stedelijk Museum Vianen.

Among the many treasures on view in the museum is a rare Delft black pancake plate from the collection of former mayor Rooseboom. The plate is painted with a chinoiserie decoration of a Long Eliza, a dancing boy and two fighting roosters. Chinese porcelain came to the Dutch Republic from 1602, the year the Dutch East India Company was founded. In addition to the well-known blue and white porcelain, ‘famille verte’ and ‘famille noire’ were also produced in China during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). In famille noire, decorations are applied to a lacquered black background, in which the color green dominates. This became one of the rarest and most precious Chinese porcelains. The Delft equivalent, called Black Delft, or Delft Noir, is also rare. There are only about 65 objects of Black Delftware known worldwide. The production was complicated, because the tin glaze had to remain stable during firing, otherwise the decoration will run out. The plate bears a CK mark, possibly for Cornelis Koppens, owner of De Metaale Pot (The Metal Pot) factory from 1724 to 1757.


Amerongen Castle is one of the great Dutch houses from the seventeenth century, with the house, garden, and furnishings almost entirely intact. The house and adjoining historical gardens are located in the picturesque village of Amerongen at the foot of the Utrecht Hills in the Netherlands. Amerongen Castle has a rich family history, going back 700 years. The owners played an important role in the national and European history.

The history of Amerongen Castle officially began in 1286. During the early years, the castle was destroyed and rebuilt several times. In 1557 the house was sold to Goert van Reede (1516-1585). A new era began for the house in 1641, when Goert’s son, Godard Adriaan van Reede took possession of the house.

Godard Adriaan van Reede (1621-1691) was internationally known as a prominent representative of the Netherlands. Godard Adriaan held a key-position in the insurrection against the French supremacy. As a retribution the house was burnt down by the French in 1673, but rebuilt in the popular Dutch-classical style by his wife Margaretha Turnor. The house was completed in 1680. After Godard Adriaan van Reede died in 1691, his son Godard van Reede-Ginckel succeeded him as lord of Amerongen. He married Philipotta van Raesfeld, heiress of Middachten Castle. Godard van Ginckel was one of the confidants of Stadtholder William III. He was successful in the Prince’s army and won important victories in Ireland, earning the title Earl of Athlone.

At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the castle was decorated in accordance with contemporary taste by Henriëtte Countess van Nassau Zuylestein. She adorned the castle with beautiful furniture and filled the cupboards with porcelain, silver and damask. When the French army invaded the Netherlands in 1795, the Orange-minded Van Reede family left for England together with Stadholder William V. The departure of the van Reede family to England marked a long absence of owners for Amerongen Castle.

The castle was only inhabited again at the end of the nineteenth century when the Van Reede family passed ownership to the Van Aldenburg Bentinck family. With attention and passion for the authentic character, Graaf van Aldenburg Bentinck had the castle adapted to the requirements of his time. Architect Pierre Cuypers was commissioned around 1900 to adapt and embellish a number of rooms. In 1977 his grandchildren gave the castle to the Amerongen Castle Foundation, which aims to maintain the castle and open it to the public.

Amerongen Castle is still furnished as the residents left it in 1977, which had remained unchanged since at least 1940. The historic interior of Amerongen Castle provides an accurate impression of life for a twentieth century noble family. The oldest pieces in the collection date from the period of the Van Reede family from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, the Van Aldenburg Bentinck family enriched the collection with many pieces of furniture, portraits, musical instruments and other objects, including ceramics.

The ceramics collection mainly consists of seventeenth and eighteenth-century objects and is subdivided into Asian porcelain and European porcelain and earthenware, including Dutch Delftware. The castle houses three Delftware garnitures, for example a polychrome set of five vases in the Hallway. Comprising three baluster-shaped vases and two beaker vases, the body is painted with a pipe smoking man in a landscape, and the covers are surmounted with a pecking bird. The other two garniture sets are shown in the King’s chamber and the Library. Other Delftware objects are shown in the library, such as a plate with a portrait of Stadtholder William V, from the end of the eighteenth century. These types of objects were produced as (political) propaganda when William V was expelled from Holland by the patriots in 1785, only to return a couple years later with the help of Austrian troops.


The Zeeuws Museum is located in the town of Middelburg in the Dutch province of Zeeland. 

The Koninklijk Zeeuws Genootschap der Wetenschappen (Royal Zeeland Society of Sciences) founded the Medioburgense Museum in Middelburg at the end of the eighteenth century. In 1886, the Kunstmuseum was founded in the same town. Both museums fell into disrepair during the twentieth century, with a portion of the collections destroyed during World War II. In 1961 the Zeeland Museum foundation moved into the building of the Museum Medioburgense, upon which it received part of the collection of the Royal Zeeland Society of Sciences in loan. The collection of the Kunstmuseum was also transferred to the museum foundation.

In 1972 the museum was moved to the medieval Abbey in Middelburg, where it is still located. Its collection includes wall tapestries from the Province, the historical collection of the Koninklijk Zeeuws Genootschap der Wetenschappen, porcelain from the Bal collection and regional clothing and the contemporary art collection of the Province of Zeeland.  

The museum’s arts and crafts collection also comprises Delftware. Besides both blue and white and polychrome plates with coats of arms, orangist subjects and Asian-style depictions, there is one particularly interesting charger painted in a Kraak-style with the depiction of an elephant. Further, many typical eighteenth-century figures, such as cows, dogs, horses, a lady carrying cheeses or butter and a child in a high chair are included. The collection is further enriched by garnitures, apothecary jars, vases, sauce boats, models of shoes and plaques. A rare find in the collection is a petit feu and gilded salt cellar with candle holder in the shape of a seated lady.

The Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas (The National Museum of Decorative Arts) is located in the Spanish capital of Madrid. Founded in 1912, it is one of the oldest and richest museums in the so-called Triángulo del Arte (Art Triangle) of the city. The museum was established as a place of learning for artisans, manufacturers and designers, following a similar tradition as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

In 1932 the museum moved to its current location, a nineteenth-century palace overlooking the Parque del Retiro. The mansion, built by the Duchess of Santoña in the 1880s, consists of over sixty rooms spread over five floors. 

The museum shows the evolution of the so-called ‘industrial’ and decorative arts mainly between the fifteenth and twentieth centuries. It houses collections of both ethnographic and of artistic craftsmanship of ceramics, furniture, jewelry, textiles, and Oriental arts. Although the museum focuses on Spanish decorative arts, it also includes examples from other countries, mostly early ceramics and luxury items. 

The ceramics in the Oriental section comprise Chinese porcelains of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Some of these pieces were created in China on behalf of Spanish families and therefore feature their arms. The ceramics section also houses approximately 4,000 pieces made of clay, pottery and porcelain, from an 11th-century jar from Toledo to Spanish porcelain from Porcelana de Alcora and Real Fábrica del Buen Retiro. There are also pieces from almost all other notable European manufacturers, such as Sèvres, Limoges, and Capodimonte, as well as marked and signed socarrat tiles.

Dutch Delftware is also presented, including both blue and white and polychrome wares from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The majority comprises plates and dishes, but also tobacco jars, a blue and white garniture and a service attributed to De Witte Starre (The White Star) factory between 1725 and 1760. One notable piece is a rectangular blue and white plaque from circa 1700 depicting figures in a landscape. The figures are shown walking, fishing, riding in a horse carriage and accompanying their horses as they drink from a fountain surmounted by a putti. An interesting blue and white charger from circa 1720 depicts the half-length figure of Moses supporting two arched tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. 


The Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS) is located in Sydney, Australia. The museum is comprised of the Powerhouse Museum, the major branch of the institution, together with the historic Sydney Observatory and the Museums Discovery Centre.

The formation of the museum began after the 1879 Sydney International Exhibition, held in the Garden Palace. Following the event, the best exhibitions were selected for permanent display in a new museum planned for the Garden Palace. The museum was to be called The Technological, Industrial, and Sanitary Museum of New South Wales; its purpose was to exhibit the latest innovations in industry, construction and design with the intention of showing how improvements in the living standards and health of the population might be brought about.

In September 1882, a fire completely destroyed the Garden Palace and the majority of the collection, occurring just before the museum was slated to open. The museum’s first curator Joseph Henry Maiden was tasked to rebuild the collection. The museum relocated numerous times throughout its history and incorporated with the Sydney Observatory in 1982. In 1988 it was moved to the former tram depot and opened as the Powerhouse Museum. The new Powerhouse made it possible to rehabilitate hundreds of stored treasures and “exhibit them for the first time in almost a century”. The museum moved to 500 Harris Street in March 1988, and took its name from the new location.

Although often described as a science museum, the Powerhouse has a diverse collection encompassing all sorts of technology including decorative arts, science, communication, transport, costume, furniture, media, computer technology, space technology and steam engines. The museum hosts a number of permanent exhibitions, ranging from themes like transport, the steam revolution, time and space, environment, computers, art and industry. This exhibition includes industrial equipment and industrial design, such as furniture, and an extensive and significant collection of Doulton ware and other ceramics.

Dutch Delftware is also housed in the collection. From plates and plaques to garniture vases, shoes, a candlestick and orangist plates. Further there are three single blue and white bottle vases, of which two are painted with waterfowl and flowering plants and the other with a chinoiserie scene of people conversing in a garden. These three vases are marked for Gerrit Pietersz. Kam, who was the owner of De Drie Posteleyne Astonne (The Three Porcelain Ash-barrels) factory from 1673 until 1700 and De Paauw (The Peacock) factory from 1701 until 1705. A true Delftware collection highlight is a trompe l’oeil tureen in the form of two entwined pikes from circa 1750. Naturally modeled tableware in the form of fruit, vegetables, fish, birds and other sorts of animals were fashionable in the mid-1700s. 


The Holland Open Air Museum is located in the town of Arnhem. This museum focuses on everyday objects and culture from the lives of ordinary people. Antique houses, farms and factories from different parts of the Netherlands are spread throughout the museum grounds, inviting visitors to explore the unique culture of each.

The idea for the Open Air Museum was conceived by Frederic Adolph Hoefer in 1912 after he had visited several similar museums in Scandinavia. At the same time, the rise of industrialization and urbanization caused regional differences to disappear. Since traditions and craftsmanship were threatened to vanish, historical buildings were moved to the museum. In 1918 the museum opened to the public, comprised of six buildings that were relocated from across the country.

Today there are about forty historical buildings from various places and historical periods. An indoor museum was opened in 2000 in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The permanent collection chronicles the history of the Netherlands with a key focus on daily life.

The collection of the Dutch Open Air Museum contains approximately 153,000 objects, including farm wagons, home textiles, regional costumes and toys. The museum also houses several Delftware objects. The collection mostly comprises utensils, such as many blue and white and polychrome plates. But also a rare coffee pot, tureens, butter tubs and several teapots, of which two red stoneware examples are included. Also included are decorative household objects, for example several garniture sets, tobacco and apothecary jars and vases. One of the highlights of the collection is an inkstand with two inkwells and sand spreader from 1782. Further there is an interesting blue and white complete tobacco box consisting of the box, cover and tamper, a jolly figural cistern and a money bank.

The Musée national des Arts asiatiques-Guimet (Musée Guimet) is located in Paris and has one of the largest collections of Asian Art.

The museum was founded by Émile Étienne Guimet (1836-1918), an industrialist and scholar from Lyon. Guimet was devoted to travel, and visited Egypt and Greece. In 1876, he was commissioned by the minister of public instruction to study the religions of the Far East. Guimet built an impressive collection of exotic art from his travels, which he exhibited in Lyon in 1879.

Around this time, Guimet focused his collection on Asian artifacts and moved his art to the museum he had built in Paris, which opened in 1889. In 1927, the museum became affiliated with the Direction des Musées de France, and the collection grew once again. Thanks to several private legacies, it has the largest collection of Asian art outside Asia. The Musée Guimet also manages the nearby Panthéon Bouddhique and the Musée d’Ennery, also dedicated to Asian Art. However, while the collection in the museum is arranged geographically and presents a history of Asian art to the public, the Panthéon Bouddique approaches the original plan of Guimet, which presented iconographically interesting objects, and aimed to increase knowledge of Eastern religions.

The museum comprises several departments, such as arts, bronzes, arms, objects of daily life, painting and also ceramics. Although the museum now covers almost all of Asia, from the Buddhas of Afghanistan to the Zen monks of Japan, from Indian fabrics to Samurai armour, and from Khmer treasures to Chinese fine art, its collection also includes Dutch Delftware. The Delftware Chinoiserie style baluster-form vase from the end of the seventeenth century shows a continuous scene of figures in a landscape of pines and rock work, clearly inspired by transitional Chinese porcelain.


Founded in 1791, the Albany Institute of History & Art is one of the oldest museums in the United States. 

As a Dutch colony in the early seventeenth century, Albany has maintained connections with a Dutch cultural identity. The city of Albany traces its roots to the voyage of English explorer Henry Hudson sponsored by the Dutch East India Company in 1609. Seeking a water route to China by sailing westward, Hudson instead sailed up the river that now bears his name to the interior of New York State. Five years later, the New Netherland Company established Fort Nassau on the island that now houses the Port of Albany but within a few years, this fort was washed away. In 1621, the Dutch West India Company was chartered and three years later, the company built Fort Orange, the trading settlement that would eventually grow into the city of Albany. This early date makes Albany the longest continually occupied European settlement in the eastern United States.

The roots of the Albany Institute of History & Art lay in The Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, Arts, and Manufactures, which was founded in New York City in Federal Hall. Supported by the New York State legislature, to which it served as an informational advisor, the society met to improve the state’s economy through advances in agricultural methods and manufacturing technologies. In accordance with the condition that they meet where the legislature convened, the society moved to Albany in 1797, when it became the state capital. From 1998 to 2001, the Albany Institute raised $17 million to bring the museum galleries and facilities up to twenty-first-century standards with a renovation and expansion project that created the present museum.

The Albany Institute of History & Art holds one of the finest collections of art and historical objects documenting the life and culture of New York’s Upper Hudson Valley from the late seventeenth century to the present. Many of the objects in the museum’s collections were made in the Albany area or New York State and document the region’s skilled craftspeople, businesses, and industrial operations. Other objects in the collections originated in China, Japan, Egypt, the Netherlands, France, and elsewhere in the world. The Albany Institute has collected these items because of connections of ownership to families and commercial enterprises in the Upper Hudson Valley. The museum houses more than 35,000 objects, such as paintings, sculpture, furniture, silver, historical artifacts, and ceramics.

Dutch Delftware is represented in the ceramics collection. The collection holds several seventeenth and eighteenth-century tiles, ranging from blue and white tiles with animals, soldiers, and biblical representations to manganese biblical tiles and polychrome tiles with the depiction of tulips. The collection houses several majolica dishes from circa 1625. Further there is a delicately painted polychrome plaque with a basket filled with a floral bouquet from the second half of the eighteenth century. 

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